What happened a year ago

There’s a lot in my mind at the moment. A whole muddle of new beginnings, old reconnections and ongoing confusions.

The only thing I can handle dealing with now is an old reconnection. To explain that I have to go back to last night… and to explain last night I have to go back to September… and to explain September I have to go back to one year ago, a little house just down the road from where I live now…

I had moved home in the May of that year. I was 2 thirds of the way through my degree course. Various events meant that staying where I was had become rather impractical and inconvenient (probably another story for another time) so I decided to transfer to a very similar course in my home town. After a lot of badgering and repeated explanations (yes I have studied this so I will be able to follow your course. Really, I HAVE!) the university finally let me in.

Now I just needed somewhere to live (I could have stayed with my parents but I get on with them so very much better when we all CHOOSE when to see each other) and, as luck would have it, a ‘vacancy’ appeared. One of my friends (who had just graduated) lived with her boyfriend in a house owned by her stepdad. Unfortunately over the summer, the boyfriend had turned a bit… strange. Personally I had never liked the guy but my friend E did so I had kept my mouth shut. Long story short: their relationship was not going well. He moved out and they agreed to give it one more try. This left her alone in a house big enough for two. The spare room became my room, I brought in my furniture and together we re-arranged and even re-decorated. We were both pretty excited – neither of us had really lived with a friend before.

At first it went damn well. We got on brilliantly, we had loads of fun… and then things changed. We both began to get annoyed with each other often. Things just didn’t seem to run smoothly any more. I felt like she’d become rude and distant. I don’t know what she thought about me. I would guess she thought I was inconsiderate. I didn’t agree.

The first step on the road to ruin was probably the moment when I said ‘How would it be if my parents’ insane cat moved in with us?’ and she said ‘That’s a great idea!’

It wasn’t a great idea. She had never had cats before and this cat is… well. He’s a bit unusual. He’s always been nervous and twitchy so I wanted to keep him in for a while or at least let him out when supervised just to make sure he wouldn’t run away. E thought he smelled. Bad. To be fair he did use his litterbox A LOT.
To this day I maintain that that cat does not smell. I have proof from everyone else who has even been near him: he does not smell. I am very concerned about cleanliness in general and I was pretty miffed about the whole thing. The dam broke when she texted me to tell me she didn’t want the cat any more. He’d been there less than 3 weeks.

We fell out. I was hurt that she didn’t want my cat and that she couldn’t even tell me in person. She was… I don’t know… very anti-cat.

Looking back it sounds strange and silly perhaps. At the time it was big. I think we’d have fallen out anyway. It just happened that that was the ‘thing’.

December came and life at home didn’t improve. Tensions were riding high and I had the feeling that everything could explode at any moment. As though we were just waiting for the trigger. We had previously been part of the same friendship group although she had very much lost touch with everyone (by her own choice). I still saw my friends and wanted them to come round.

I casually invited 3 friends round for an evening of board games the following week. Nothing big, nothing loud or boozy. Board games for goodness sake. I let E know immediately. The next day we put up our Christmas tree. During this time ‘friends’ came up and E decided to let me know that she didn’t like my friends and didn’t want them to come round. She also demanded that I ask her permission before ever inviting anyone round.



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